While Oklahoma may not be among the ranks of industrial states, it has certainly be dedicated to all kinds of industrial productions, which has impacted the economic well-being and quality of life of residents over the years. Gristmills, salt works, cotton gins, smelters, flourmills, milk and cheese companies and lumber mills have all been very important to the industrial development over the years.
We live in an area rich in history, with people that have worked hard made the most of all that Mother Nature has to offer. It was after the arrival of the railroads in the early 1870s that the business of lumber and timber started to boom. Since that time the forest industry has remained an integral part of the economy in McCurtain County. In fact, there is around 60 million cubic feet of lumber harvested here each year! The heritage of forestry is steeped in tradition and that is what the Forest Heritage Center Museum is all about!
While this museum may not compare with the Smithsonian or the American Museum of Natural History, it has a uniqueness of its own that makes it a special place to stop for anyone traveling through Beavers Bend State Park in Broken Bow, OK. It is considered to be the “Wood Art Capital of Oklahoma,” and is full of fascinating artifacts and historical information about the forestry industry. You can see fourteen dioramas painted by the Smokey Bear artist, Harry Rossoll that each tell a unique story and are accompanied by a taped narration.
Other things that make this a worthy visit are the chainsaw carvings, antique forestry and woodworking tools, homestead memorabilia, a 100-year old log cabin from the Kiamichi Mountains. There are wonderfully restored photographs of the people who helped lay the foundation for the forestry industry in Oklahoma and an 8-foot bronze sculpture of Jim Burnett, the first forest firefighter from Oklahoma who lost his life in the line of duty. It is the central piece to an exhibit that honors the thousands of wild land firefighters who fight to save our beautiful land.
The museum is a great place to explore on a free day in Broken Bow, in addition to the fishing, hiking, kayaking and the host of other great reasons to visit. Beavers Bend Creative Escapes also has the perfect place for you to stay, whether you are swinging through for one night, coming for a weekend getaway or have a big family reunion or vacation planned. Our collection of privately owned luxury cabins are cozy, relaxing and have all of the amenities you love to enjoy at home. View our cabins online, find the one that suits your style and needs and call us at (580) 306-2266 for more information. Hope to see you soon!